Jan 20

International Service in Peru

by Kaitlyn Freed, graduate OT student (class of 2020)

What did you do over the recent holidays?  Six occupational therapy students and an O.T. alumnus participated in an international service trip to Peru over winter break. The trip was planned and organized through the College’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement. The group spent the week building two different houses in La Florida, Peru with The Fuller Center for Housing. We also had the opportunity to go to a therapy center and help out for the day. It was a lot of fun. 

& OT students in Peru

O.T. students (left to right): Emily Sipe, Nichole Campbell, Rachel Gould, Kaitlyn Freed, Anajulia Blanch, Jillian Nichols, Charity Good

Dec 16

Putting “Educate for Service” into Practice

by Gina Fox, OTD, OTR/L

21 students who volunteered with Rebuilding TogetherThis past semester, 21 senior Occupational Therapy students had the opportunity to collaborate with Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization that helps people in the community stay in their homes by providing home safety evaluations and home repairs. Students completed home safety evaluations for clients in the greater Harrisburg area, and provided written reports to Rebuilding Together with recommendations for improving safety and fall prevention. This collaborative project allowed the students to utilize and apply their skills learned in their current practice course related to home evaluations and modifications in a real-life, meaningful context. 

The Elizabethtown College OT Department looks forward to continuing to collaborate with Rebuilding Together in the future, and already has plans for volunteering on home repair projects in the spring. For more information on Rebuilding Together, visit  http://www.rtgh.org


Jul 09

Morgan Smith Attends AOTF Summer Institute for Future Scientists in OT

Morgan Smith (left) with fellow future scientists.

Morgan Smith, MS ’19, recently attended the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s Summer Institute for Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy.  She was selected from among many applicants to attend the 1-day institute, followed by a 2-day Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars, held at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, from June 20-22, 2019.  The institute provides mentoring to potential future doctoral students while connecting them to potential research mentors.  Morgan’s experience is highlighted by her comments below.

The institute for future scientists gave me the opportunity to learn more about the application process for PhD and OTD programs, how the two degrees differ, what is to be expected during each type of program, and what a life dedicated to research often looks like. I also got to meet leaders in occupational therapy research such as Ginny Stoffel, Roger Smith, and Mary Lawlor to name just a few. The most beneficial part of the institute was the opportunity to speak one-on-one with faculty from a variety of R1 academic institutions, and engage in conversations around my personal research goals and interests, as well as hear about the passions of others. 

The next two days consisted of presentations and posters as part of the Summit of Scholars. There was also ample time to continue networking, and I got to speak with PhD students from the programs that many of the faculty teach at. 

I walked into this event knowing I wanted to pursue getting a PhD in the coming years, but walked away even more energized about the possibility of devoting my life to making a difference within occupational therapy by researching pediatric mental health. It was amazing to be surrounded by such brilliant and supportive people from our profession, and I’m excited to join this incredible group of researchers as a future scientist. 

Congratulations to Morgan, and we look forward to hearing about your future graduate school and research endeavors.  

Apr 24

Graduate OT Student + Biology Professor = Collaboration and Publication

Congratulations to current occupational therapy graduate student, Danielle Barattini and Dr. Anya Goldina, Assistant Professor of Biology for their recent publication, Exploring Student Perceptions of a Station-based Teaching Approach in The Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory. The article discusses the use of different learning approaches in the anatomy and physiology lab here at Elizabethtown. Ms. Barattini has been a teaching assistant in the Anatomy & Physiology labs since 2015.

The full article citation is Goldina, A. & Barattini, D. (2018). Exploring student perceptions of a station-based teaching approach in the human anatomy and physiology laboratory. Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) Educator, 22(1), 61-68. doi: 10.21692/haps.2018.007.

cover of HAPS journal


Apr 10

Look for Etown Blue Jays in Salt Lake City, UT

Faculty, students, and recent graduates will be attending and presenting at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.  We hope to see you there!

Friday 4/20

Poster Session 9-11 AM

HW 4004 Using Food to Energize Your Health and Practice: The Importance of Understanding Real Food as an Occupational Therapist.  Kerri Hample, OTD, OTR/L.

GP 4007 Decision Making in the Occupational Therapy Evaluation Process: A Grounded Theory Study. Elise Starkey, MS (’17), OTR/L, Adelyn Enders, MS (’17), OTR/L, & Megan Ziff, MS (’17), OTR/L. Contributing Author: Judy Beck Ericksen, PhD, OTR/L.

PA 4004 Interdisciplinary Collaboration To Develop a Walker Attachment To Increase Stabilization and Reduce the Risk of Falls in the Elderly Population. Jennifer Newman, BS, OTS. Contributing Author: Judy Beck Ericksen, PhD, OTR/L.

Poster Session 12:30 – 2:30 PM

CY 5005 Living With a Child Who Has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: What Do Parents Think? Kerri Hample, OTD, OTR/L, Rachel Engelhardt, MS (’17), OTR/L, Markia Johnson, MS (’17), OT & Angela Meyers, MS (’17), OTR/L.

CY 5016 Brain-Body Center Sensory Scales: An Innovative Approach To Measuring Sensory Patterns Among Pediatric Populations. Nancy Carlson, PhD, OTR/L, Katelyn Guilfoy, MS (’17), OTR/L, Mikayla Kemmerly, MS (’17), OTR/L, & Carly Mutter, MS (’17), OTR/L.

Saturday April 21

Poster Session 9 – 11 AM

Research 7029 (ADED) Occupation-Based Coaching for Commercial Truck Drivers: A Pilot Study. Ann Marie Potter, PhD, OTR/L, Jaime Deisher, MS (’17), OTR/L, Emily Good, MS (’17), OTR/L, & Rachel Sassaman, MS (’17), OTR/L.

Sunday April 22

Workshop 8 – 11 AM

#402 Interoception: Define It, Assess It, Practical Strategies To Improve It, Document It, and Implications for Self-Regulation. Kerri Hample, OTD, OTR/L, Kelly Mahler, MS, OTR/L, Adam Amspacher, MS (’17), OTR/L, Elizabeth Niehaus, MS (’17), OTR/L, & Alyssa Rea, MS (’17), OTR/L.

Apr 03

New Members Join the Pi Theta Epsilon Honor Society

by Courtney Wood, OTS
group photo of PTE members

Current PTE Members – juniors, seniors, and graduate students

On March 18th, 2018, Elizabethtown’s occupational therapy honor society, Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), inducted fourteen new members from the junior class. These students exemplify the organization’s high academic achievement standards including being within the top 35% percent of their class and having a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above. Please join us in congratulating the following students on their achievement: Madelyn Baker, Deanna Bertone, Amber Burd, Hannah Burleigh, Nichole Campbell, Abigail Drumheller, Gina Feeney, Kaitlyn Freed, Miranda Kissinger, Joshua Reed, Megan Stone, Victoria Veit, Natalie Watt, and Melissa Ziegler. 

Alumna Irene KershawAt the induction ceremony, Elizabethtown alumna Irene Kershaw gave the keynote address on her journey through occupational therapy. President Janelle Sovay and Club Advisor Ann Marie Potter congratulated the current senior members of the honor society on their achievement and upcoming graduation with the presentation of honor cords. 
Nov 28

Students Engage in Advocacy

As part of the OT Management and Supervision course, students are required to engage in professional advocacy – for the OT profession and/or for consumers.  This year students completed a range of advocacy efforts from providing in-services to home health personal aides, promoting OT’s role for those with Alzheimer’s disease, promoting the need for accessible playgrounds at schools, writing letters to government representatives regarding legislation, and more.  Below are photos from a career day presentation as well as a link to a blog post written by one of our graduate students.  How do you advocate for consumers and/or the OT profession?

Advocating for individuals with mental health conditions – by Samantha Tobon

Dr. Ann Marie Potter and graduate students (Megan D. & Alyssa F.) are ready to show why OT is a great career.

Jun 16

Reflections from the AOTA Summer Institute for Future Scientists in OT

Nicole Brackman in Boston

Earlier this semester we announced that Nicole Brackman, (MS, ’17) was selected to attend the Summer Institute for Future Scientists in OT.  She also had the opportunity to attend the second annual Summit of Scholars, bringing together OT researchers and scholars.  Nicole shared her experiences with faculty in this email:



Wow! What an amazing experience I had at AOTA’s Summer Institute and Summit of Scholars. From running into Winnie Dunn in my pajamas to traveling alone (my first time ever) to eating a lobster roll at Quincy Market….

Thursday was the Summer Institute. I was surrounded by other students from across the country with various educational backgrounds. Thursday was filled with information regarding future scientists, different pathways to obtaining a PhD, various PhD degrees, how to seek mentors, and setting research goals. I got to listen to so many inspiring people – PhD candidates, scientists, and other scholars. Amy Lamb, Wendy Coster, Elizabeth Skidmore, and Ellen Cohn were just a few of these individuals. It was an exciting day. After, we were able to network at a nearby restaurant.

Friday and Saturday were the OT Summit. This was another awesome day! The theme was “From Tradition to Innovation,” and various researchers discussed the struggles they sometimes face in moving practice forward. There were roundtable discussions, posters, and presentations. I was able to hear from so many people in the field of OT and get an understanding of their backgrounds and where they believed research should focus to advance the field. One of my personal favorites was Tracy Mroz, who has a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy. She is amazing!

 I left this event with a busy brain and a full heart. I feel extremely inspired to pursue a career in research. I wanted to personally thank you all for your effort toward this opportunity – it was truly a game changer for me!

Nicole is currently completing her final level II fieldwork.  The O.T. department wishes her and her classmates much success in their careers as therapists and possibly as researchers – advancing the profession and impacting the lives of O.T. consumers everywhere!


May 04

…and the Awards Go to O.T. Students and Faculty

Several Occupational Therapy students and a faculty member were recognized at the College’s Annual Awards Ceremony on April 19, 2017.  Congratulations to the following award recipients!

Jessica Schultz

Jessica Schultz, current OT senior, who received the Carole Isaak Academic Service to Students Award.

Abigail Sanders

Abigail Sanders, current OT junior, who received the Resident Assistant of the Year Award.


Meghan Matje

Meghan Matje, current first year OT student, who received the Distinguished Student Award, Class of 2020.

Dr. Judy B. Ericksen

Dr. Judy B. Ericksen, Associate Professor of OT, who received the Student-Directed Learning Communities Award.